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Classes to be online for first two weeks, booster now required


By Talha Arif     12/26/21 5:00pm

Courses will be delivered online for the first two weeks of the spring semester, and vaccine boosters will be required for all employees and students effective Jan. 10, according to an email sent Dec. 26 by President David Leebron and Provost Reginald DesRoches. This announcement follows a recent mask mandate reimplemented amidst the spread of the Omicron variant.

Leebron and DesRoches wrote in the email that indoor gatherings, including classes, are limited to 50 people through Jan. 24. Students are also being encouraged to delay their return to campus until the weekend of Jan. 22-23, if possible.

“We intend to return to general in-person course delivery on Jan. 24 unless the situation in Houston deteriorates substantially or new information suggests that is inadvisable,” Leebron and DesRoches wrote.

The changes are being made so that Rice can lower the population density on campus for the first two weeks of the semester and allow time for everyone who is eligible to get their booster shots, according to Leebron and DesRoches.

“This will also enable us to take into account any new information that emerges over the next two to three weeks,” Leebron and Desroches wrote.

Booster shots are required for all employees and students who come to campus if it has been more than six months since finishing their two-shot Pfizer or Moderna regime, unless individuals are granted a medical or religious exemption. 

Rice reported 67 on-campus positive results and 35 non-Rice positive tests in the last seven days, according to the COVID-19 dashboard.

More information will be provided later this week, according to the email.

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